Kids and Families

Practice sun safety habits early and regularly

here to help

Sun safety for the whole family

Most of your lifetime sun exposure is accumulated in the first 18 years of life. Protect their skin and teach them sun safety habits now.

Kids are more likely to embrace sun safety when the whole family is involved. Make it part of your regular routine and play it safe in the sun!

Severe sunburns, especially during childhood, increase the risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers.

Sun Smart Tools

Sun safety for kids and babies

Use these tips to make practicing sun safety easier with little ones!


Keep track of time

The sun’s rays are the strongest between 11am and 3pm. Try to keep toddlers and children out of the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the rays are at their strongest, or any time of the day when the UV Index is 3 or more.


Seek shade

Provide shade in their play area. Hang out in the shade of a tree or pack an umbrella.


Cover up

Long-sleeved rash guards are great for kids at the pool or splash pad.


Hat's on, fun's on!

The wider the brim, the better. With some persistence we can teach toddlers that a hat is part of their outside routine in the summer, just like a toque is part of their routine in the winter.


Slide on sunglasses

Close-fitting, wrap around styles are best.


Slop on sunscreen

Use more than you think and don’t forget to reapply, especially after swimming or toweling off.


Make it portable

Try packing a hat and protective clothing and sun safe supplies along with your child to school or daycare.

Sunscreen and babies?

Don’t use sunscreen for babies less than 6 months of age. Instead, keep them covered and well-shaded so they are not exposed to direct sun.

For babies older than 6 months, it’s okay to use a small amount of sunscreen on exposed skin (such as their face and the backs of their hands and tops of their feet). First test a small amount on your baby’s inner arm to see if the skin reacts to the product. Sunscreen is available in a variety of formulations. Find one that works well for you!

Protective clothing and shade offer even better protection than sunscreen.

Be a role model!

You kids are watching you. Make sun safety part of your own routine and your children are much more likely to adopt the same habits.

Wear a hat, cover up, wear sunscreen and sunglasses. Your skin, and your kids, will thank you!

View sources

The Recommended Core Content for Sun Safety Messages in Canada. Briefing on the Results of the 2014/15 National Consensus Process.